The autumn rain and chilly nights may be making you dream of your next trip to the sun. But would you be able to handle the temperatures in some of what are, quite literally, the world’s hotspots? Take a look at some of the locations where the highest temperatures ever have been recorded. Many have cooler periods in the year, but if not these are some destinations where you just cannot afford to forget your hat and sun cream.
Dallol, Ethiopia | This Afar Depression town is scorching all year round, and between 1960 and 1966 the average temperature was a scorching 94 degrees. There is a volcano in the area just to add to the heat, but there are also fascinating hydrothermal deposits which are well worth a visit.
Beit She ‘an Valley, Israel | It was at the Tirat Zvi kibbutz that Asia’s highest ever temperature of 129 degrees was officially recorded in June of 1942. It lies 722 feet beneath sea level, but the Jordan River nearby helps to keep the area fertile, and locals often use local spring pools to beat the heat.
Timbuktu, Mali | Timbuktu may regularly bask in temperatures above 130 degrees, but it is also one of the coolest places to visit. Stand in awe in front of the huge Saharan sand dunes that loom above the city, and drink in the history and culture that abounds. The city played a central role in Islam’s spread across Africa and is home to one of the best ancient manuscript collections on the planet.
Kebili, Tunisia | It is strange that some of the highest ever temperatures recorded in Africa, at more than 131 degrees, have caused the mercury to soar in Kebili. This is because it is actually a central Tunisian oasis where people normally go to escape the heat. If you avoid the heat — or are hardy enough to withstand it — Kebili is a really interesting place to visit, not least because there have been people living here for 200,000 years.
Death Valley, California | If you can only name one of the hottest places on the planet, Death Valley is probably it. This is where the hottest ever temperature was recorded — a searing 134 degrees. It is the hottest, driest and lowest region of North America and is home to mysterious rocks that move all by themselves. Almost as strange in the area is the sight of wildflowers which magically bloom from the parched ground after rare rains fall.